Xbox 720: Is It Coming Soon?
Speculation as to when the successor of the Xbox 360 will be released began way back since 2007. News about the Xbox 720 (it would make sense to some people just to multiply the 360 by 2 to arrive at the new name, but we never know, Microsoft could really use it) is making rounds once again, but it isn't just plain rumors that's stirring the coup this time around.
So what's causing renewed interest in a video game console that hasn't even been officially announced yet?
Job Listings on LinkedIn
A few weeks ago, a series of job listings posted by Microsoft went live on LinkedIn. Positions for a Graphics Architect, Performance Architect, and Hardware Verification Engineer, all geared towards the Xbox console, were put up. The listing for the graphics architect included the following in the job description: "The team is responsible for defining and delivering next generation console architectures from conception through implementation." Does that sound like the Xbox 720 to you?
A Student Designer Lets Something Slip
Ben Peterson, a student from the Western Washington University, put up a photo on his portfolio with an interesting update. The picture doesn't show anything Xbox-like explicitly, but the text accompanying the image says it all: "Microsoft Xbox: Confidential/Collaboration with Microsoft’s IEB Design group investigating future user experiences and hardware for 2015. *Work samples only permissible in person.*"
The image was brought under scrutiny, with many people calling it a fake and with Peterson admitting later on that it wasn't real. However, Stephen Chapman from ZDNet did a little bit of digging and reached the not-so-concrete conclusion that the image or design could still be real because Microsoft has long been known to utilize local talents for their project. And it might not be Peterson who's directly involved, as Chapman points out that it could have been the university he attends instead.
Another job listing on Microsoft?
Now people are saying that another job listing on microsoft-careers.com seeking a Program Manager is still pointing to the Xbox 720. The listing, like the others, do not specifically state that the project is for the new Xbox. However, the following excerpts from the post point to none other than the next-generation Xbox:
“IEB Studios is looking for a seasoned Principal Program Manager to build a sustainable prototyping program for core gaming experiences on future generation hardware, software, and service platforms.”
“Ensure the prototyping program is funded and executed properly to validate technical direction and drive product differentiation in future platforms.”
“Build excitement for the next gen core strategy and status to all stakeholders, highlight progress toward goals and manage significant risks and roadblocks.”
The job has since been filled, but the speculation still remains.
So what do you think?
Do all of these point to the Xbox 720 or are they just far-off assumptions made by connecting some seemingly unconnected dots?